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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: natebriscoe on February 19, 2015, 08:45:27 pm

Title: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: natebriscoe on February 19, 2015, 08:45:27 pm
I was wondering how everyone (especially bjcp judges) felt about a touch of sulfer in an Lt Am lager? Personally I like a little sulfur in most lagers, but the bjcp guidelines don't really say good or bad.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: klickitat jim on February 20, 2015, 06:11:54 am
If its a touch, and pleasant, I think its fine. 1a calls for low levels of yeast character, since its a lager that would include sulfur. In my opinion...
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: erockrph on February 20, 2015, 06:21:15 am
I am not a BJCP judge, but to me a Light American Lager should be super, super clean. Since there is virtually no malt character, there is really nothing for that sulfur to hide behind. I like a touch of sulfur in my German lagers, but I don't think I'd want any in a Light American Lager.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on February 20, 2015, 06:23:45 am
I am not a BJCP judge, but to me a Light American Lager should be super, super clean. Since there is virtually no malt character, there is really nothing for that sulfur to hide behind. I like a touch of sulfur in my German lagers, but I don't think I'd want any in a Light American Lager.

+1
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: klickitat jim on February 20, 2015, 07:19:16 am
A touch in a light lager would not be the same amount as a touch in a german pils because theres nothing to hide behind. Also to me a touch is about the same measurement as a hint. Barely noticeable
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: Jimmy K on February 20, 2015, 08:48:27 am
If its a touch and pleasant, you're likely to find judges that agree. However, you'll also find judges who believe that less is always better in that category. If it's well made and the sulfur is very light, it's likely to be the best beer on the light American lager table in many competitions. I've never judged that category, but I'd guess there are many entries with medium to strong flaws.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: denny on February 20, 2015, 09:38:55 am
I am not a BJCP judge, but to me a Light American Lager should be super, super clean. Since there is virtually no malt character, there is really nothing for that sulfur to hide behind. I like a touch of sulfur in my German lagers, but I don't think I'd want any in a Light American Lager.

+1

Same here.  It would be OK in a Euro pils, but not ALL.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 20, 2015, 09:42:07 am
I've never brewed a light American lager, but if I did I'd use the Mexican lager strain.  It's totally clean and doesn't have the Bud 'appley' character I don't care for.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: chumley on February 20, 2015, 09:55:13 am
If its a touch and pleasant, you're likely to find judges that agree. However, you'll also find judges who believe that less is always better in that category. If it's well made and the sulfur is very light, it's likely to be the best beer on the light American lager table in many competitions. I've never judged that category, but I'd guess there are many entries with medium to strong flaws.

Not just homebrewed version, but the commecial examples.  Busch Light tastes like lemons, Old Milwaukee tastes like dishwater.  Only PBR is squeaky clean and delicious.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: natebriscoe on February 20, 2015, 09:59:05 am
So the #1 example of the style is bitburger lite (hmmm German? ). It's not available around here, but a little sulfur in it wouldn't surprise me.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: Jimmy K on February 20, 2015, 10:03:32 am
Personally I like a little sulfur in most lagers, but the bjcp guidelines don't really say good or bad.
Actually, I just read the guidelines and it does say "Low levels of yeast character (green apples, DMS, or fruitiness) are optional but acceptable." DMS is a sulfur compound. I still think you will find judges who feel both ways.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: dmtaylor on February 20, 2015, 10:06:34 am
I don't like sulfur at all.  Luckily it always ages out.  Unluckily for light lager, you want to drink the beer young.  Hopefully it ages out and still tastes fresh.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on February 20, 2015, 10:14:53 am
all comes down to objectives here. for personal taste and consumption, sulfur away. for competition, might be a risk.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: santoch on February 20, 2015, 03:45:08 pm
The problem is that a little bit in an Am. Light Lager stands out like a lit match (ha!) at night.

I wouldn't deep-six a Light Lager for having a bit of sulphur, provided it was light within the context of Am. Light Lager, and especially if it dissipated.  It might cost it a point or two in the aroma section, and maybe one or two in flavor if it came through there too, but that's about it.  We might be looking at a 37 instead of say a 40 hypothetically.

It becomes problematic when it pushes up to and gets beyond that threshold of 'light'.  The notion "Light" must be qualified to mean "light within the context of the style".  For example, light esters in an English Pale Ale would be obnoxiously fruity in a Light Lager.  Light in 1A is REALLY light.

Now, in a BOS round, even subtle sulphur could well likely end up being enough of a subtle factor that knocks it from the table, while an appropriately light sulphur in 2A would not be challenged.  It depends on what the other subtle factors are in all the other beers that may knock THEM from the table.

Hope this made some sense.
Steve




Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: Steve Ruch on February 20, 2015, 04:02:33 pm
Sulphur is a flavor: flavor is a no-no in lite American lager.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: klickitat jim on February 20, 2015, 04:45:58 pm
Sulphur is a flavor: flavor is a no-no in lite American lager.
Distilled water carbonated to 2.5 volumes would be a 50?

There's flavor in 1a if done right. There's a touch of a lot of stuff in a good one.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: denny on February 21, 2015, 10:06:12 am
Knock ALL all you care to, but try Annie Johnson's before you say it has no flavor.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: santoch on February 21, 2015, 11:21:33 am
+1 Denny-
She makes some great ones.

Folks knock it, but Cat 1 is usually a lot more fun to judge than many would think.  1 is normally dominated by Helles, with a couple of ballsy folks attempting 1a-c.  Those folks entering those beers tend to be the most experienced brewers, and their beers tend to have the fewest faults (or at least the most benign).  Those that are flawed tend to be pretty easy to identify (estery, diacetyl, acetaldehyde).  You aren't hammered before lunch, either.   Then Cat 19 in the afternoon isn't going to knock you on your butt.
This is even more important if you end up doing BOS too.

Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: klickitat jim on February 21, 2015, 12:07:23 pm
Steve, if you're not hammered by lunch, you're not judging hard enough.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: santoch on February 22, 2015, 09:18:06 am
:D

See you in March-
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: Steve Ruch on February 22, 2015, 09:56:37 am
Knock ALL all you care to, but try Annie Johnson's before you say it has no flavor.

Denny,
I was being (a bit) facetious.
As I age I find it takes more assertive flavors to get noticed.
#1 to Annie Johnson and her version.
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: klickitat jim on February 22, 2015, 10:10:52 am
:D

See you in March-
Looking forward to it. We're at the Silver Cloud and plannning on pigging out at the Crab Pot Saturday night
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: santoch on February 23, 2015, 04:39:33 pm
You do realize it's at Bellevue Brewing, not Pyramid, right?
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: klickitat jim on February 23, 2015, 05:47:35 pm
You do realize it's at Bellevue Brewing, not Pyramid, right?
Yes. Silver Cloud in Redmond and Crab Pot in Bellevue...
Title: Re: Light American Lager guidelines
Post by: santoch on February 24, 2015, 10:10:13 am
Ok-  just making sure you weren't booked at Safeco like last time.
See you then-

S